Open Talk @DSIM
An Interview with Mr. Rohan Naravane, Head of Content & User Experience, Pricebaba.com
Founded by Annkur Agarwal in 2011, Mumbai based PriceBaba.com is a shopping intelligence engine for buying mobile phones. The website is a search engine for offline stores selling mobile devices. PriceBaba solves a tough problem of bridging the gap between online and offline markets. It develops techniques & technology to create an impact for local retailers who aren’t as connected & Internet savvy.
Q1. Thank you Rohan for taking out time for having a word with us. Tell us something what “Pricebaba” is all about?
Ans .Pricebaba is a location based product research engine. We are the proud pioneers of RoPo (Research Online and Purchase Offline) concept. If you’re willing to buy a phone, we aim to help you choose which phone to buy, where to buy it from, how much to pay for it and what to do after you have bought it.Our USP is availability of prices from local retailers in your vicinity. So that one can make a better decision whether to buy it from popular e-commerce stores online or from an offline shop nearby.PriceBaba is currently available in 11 cities in India including the metro cities like Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad & till now it has over 1400 verified stores.
Q2. You must have churned out multiple ideas but why did you end up executing Pricebaba.com?
Ans .People are mostly in a state of dilemma while buying phones (when you have so many options to choose from!) and that is the time when we refer to a friend. Annkur was ‘that’ friend. He used to help people with their buying decision, moreover being in retail business, he would also suggest them from where they could get a lesser deal (online or offline). Going ahead, he realized that there would be more people who would need such help on the Internet and that’s how PriceBaba came into existence. At PriceBaba, we want to help Indian consumers like we would help our friends.
Q3. What were the initial challenges Pricebaba faced while developing? How did you cope with the challenges?
Ans. There have been many challenges but the most difficult part of building PriceBaba has been to educate local retailers across India, making them understand that Internet can be their friend too. What we realized is that most local retailers see Internet as an enemy rather than a friend.
To cope with this problem, we have extensively trained our field executives who onboard stores to understand what a local shopkeeper goes through, enabling them to empathize with our retail partners. We being ex-retailers ourselves are able to talk to shop owners with deep understanding of their business and help them use Internet for their betterment.
Q4. How do you see your company evolving over the next few years?
Ans .In the next few years, we aim to build the best decision making tool for our consumers. We also intend to expand the breadth of our offering beyond mobile phones, beginning with other important consumer electronics like Laptops, TVs etc.You will also see interesting value propositions that revolve around the consumer technology space from us in the next few years.
Q5. Tell us, how do you promote your company and how do you reach your customers? What is the role of digital marketing in your promotional strategy?
Digital marketing has proved to be an effective way for us to acquire users who’re looking for our services
. A major chunk of our users come to us via Google, as we’re able to provide relevant contextual information to them. We are active on popular Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter & YouTube
to touch-base with our followers on a daily basis, by publishing genuinely useful content that adds value to their life.
Q6. . Where do you see the future of digital marketing in the industry?
Ans.Digital Marketing ought to be an important part of any company, no matter what the offering is. Because of the widespread adoption of Smartphone, your potential customer is always-connected, and spends a considerable amount of time in the virtual world. Opposite to the traditional ‘spray and pray’ kind of marketing, digital marketing helps you exactly drill down your audience and gives you a clear picture of what kind of ROI to expect.
Q7. Who are your major competitors running on the same idea?
Ans. Since you can call us a price comparison website, we can call other players in this segment (like MySmartPrice) as our competitors. We also perceive popular directory services like Justdial as competition. But our unique online-offline offering differentiates us from the rest.
Q8 . What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans.1) A realistic vision of the product or service that you are offering.
2) The Art of Survival.
3) Make your passion contagious among the team.
“Thank you so much for your time. Team DSIM wishes you best of luck for your future”
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